Alumni Spotlight: Melissa Barlow, Oklahoma High School Principal of the Year
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Media Contact: Christy Lang | Marketing and Communications Manager | 405-744-9740 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Barlow, an Oklahoma State University alumna and current Yukon High School principal, is the Oklahoma High School Principal of the Year for 2020-21, an award presented by the Oklahoma Association of Secondary School Principals.
Barlow earned a bachelor’s in secondary education at OSU in 2002 and has served as YHS principal since 2013.
How did your time at OSU influence your approach to leadership and education?
The time I spent at Oklahoma State University built my foundational leadership skills through organizations within the College of Education and Residential Life. As a member and then through my tenure as President of Education Student Council, I was able to work with my peers and advisors to gain invaluable insight into the traits necessary to lead and make an impact in the field of education. I am grateful for the opportunities that OSU gave me to connect with students who had similar interests and goals, as I was able to build life-long friendships and professional connections.
You were awarded Oklahoma Principal of the Year. What does that honor mean to you?
It is an honor to be selected by my peers to represent our school, district and state in this role. This recognition is a result of the vision, hard work and dedication that the faculty and staff at Yukon High School have for individual student excellence. Education is filled with highly dedicated and caring professionals and to be named as the principal of the year is an honor, especially during the 2020-2021 school year when so many deserved it. I am humbled that I was chosen.
What accomplishments are you most proud of as principal?
Yukon High School has an intense focus on individual student success and in a school our size, this takes intense planning and support. I am very proud of the faculty and staff at YHS, as the vision for student success is supported with a multitude of programs and collaborative efforts. In my tenure as Principal at YHS, we have been able to build supportive opportunities for teacher collaboration, curriculum development and intervention programs that meet the needs of all students.
What is it like to be principal of the school where you grew up? What drew you back home?
I couldn't think of a better place to be able to give back than the same school district that gave me my foundation and desire to succeed. I absolutely love working in my hometown because of the life-long connections that I have with many members of our school community. Growing up, I did not desire to move home and continue my career here. It wasn't until I graduated from OSU, worked in few school districts, and started a family that I realized the impact that I could have on my hometown. I am so excited that I am able to give back to Yukon Public Schools in this capacity!